Sometimes women have circumstances where they want to set aside their eggs now to create a pregnancy at a later date, through a process called fertility preservation. This is a way to extend your fertility window and provide fertility options in the future. The reason for doing this is varied; sometimes a medical condition like cancer can lead to the need to preserve eggs, age has an impact and thus can put your fertility at risk, or even simply wanting to postpone childbirth until you are emotionally and financially ready for it. Men face less challenges as they age, but may choose to preserve sperm if faced with a cancer diagnosis. All of these are valid reasons for pursuing fertility preservation.
For example, a cancer diagnosis is life-altering, and there are many who opt to freeze their eggs, sperm or embryos before having oncology treatment done. Treating cancer typically involves radiation, chemotherapy and even surgery, all of which can adversely impact your reproductive system. Thanks to modern fertility treatments, freezing eggs, sperm or embryos beforehand can preserve them in a healthy state and give you the gift of time when it comes to conception so you can have a biological child when you are healthy again.
Banking sperm and eggs is also beneficial if you are putting off parenthood while you are still looking for your significant other, are still getting your education or getting better financial footing, careerwise. Or maybe you have lupus or rheumatoid arthritis where the treatments involved often take a toll on fertility. Both endometriosis and uterine fibroids can leave you struggling to conceive, so reserving your eggs can give you peace of mind, knowing you might still have options down the road.
What Does Fertility Preservation Look Like?
Our Utah Fertility reproductive specialists can retrieve and freeze eggs, bank sperm vitrify or freeze embryos to use at some later time. Here are the fertility preservation options we use with women and those who are designated female at birth, or (DFAB).
-Egg freezing: Hormone treatments are done to stimulate egg production within your ovaries so we can take out the eggs, then freeze and store them safely.
-Embryo freezing: Using In vitro fertilization (IVF), we extract your eggs from your ovaries and freeze them (using embryo cryopreservation) along with your partner’s sperm (or donated sperm) to create viable embryos.
Fertility preservation for men and those who are designated male at birth (DMAB)
-Sperm freezing: We can freeze and store your semen.
Your embryos, eggs and sperm can be safely stored until you are ready to use them, at which time they will be thawed and either implanted into your uterus or a surrogate’s uterus who can carry your baby for you allowing you to have a biological child! If you are wanting to pursue fertility preservation, the earlier the better. We invite you to reach out to our Utah Fertility Center specialists to learn more. Giving yourself the gift of fertility preservation can truly be life-altering!